Philippines boosts national defence with three C-130J-30 Super Hercules

A C-130J-30 Super Hercules banks in flight.
Photo Credit: Todd R. McQueen

The Department of National Defense of the Republic of the Philippines announced that it has acquired three new C-130J-30 Super Hercules tactical transport aircraft from U.S.-based Lockheed Martin. 

This deal has been brokered through a commercial sale. With the Philippines now signing for the C-130J, it joins other countries that rely on the Super Hercules for special and important mission demands. 

Amazing Performance Profile 

The C130 has incredible tactical mission performance and is a proven aircraft that delivers unrivaled operational results. 

The heavy transport is known to operate in and out of challenging geography and environment: albeit in war or peace time. 

With the C-130J-30 in particular, the aircraft suits the needs of the Philippine Air Force (PAF), which will allow the new Super Hercules to increase its defence footprint in Southeast Asia. 

These newly ordered aircraft are slated for delivery in 2026. 


The Philippines and Lockheed Martin 

The archipelagic island nation has a long and deep-standing relationship with Lockheed Martin. 

After it received its first Hercules in the early 1970s, the Philippine Air Force operated a mixed fleet of older legacy C-130 transporters to aid the missions of humanitarian and paramilitary flights throughout the Indo-Pacific.  

Notably, the C-130 Hercules also played a crucial role in assisting the victims of Typhoon Haiyan back in 2013. 

A Philippine Air Force Hercules C-130H.
Philippine Air Force Lockheed C-130H Hercules. Photo Credit: Torsten Maiwald (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2), via Wikimedia Commons

What’s new on the C-130J-30? 

The PAF being used for the legacy model will now have to operate the stretch version of the C-130J, which offers an additional 5 meters of cargo space, which is superior to any other air transporters. 

The new Super Hercules has increased power, range, integration, space, and capability that will support Filipino crews in achieving high-profile mission requirements which are often demanding. 

Rod McLean, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Air Mobility & Maritime Missions line of business commented on the latest purchase: 

“Philippine Air Force crews have long demonstrated what the C-130 is designed to do: go everywhere — in any condition — to deliver hope and help where it’s needed most,” 


He added: “It is an honor to continue serving the Philippines with the most advanced and capable C-130 ever produced.”

“The Super Hercules provides the Philippine Air Force with unmatched interoperability and capability, supporting challenging mission requirements across the Pacific region.”

The latest purchase will uplift the Philippines’ military capability to become integrated into a global network of Super Hercules operations. 

The Philippines along with its allies and international partners will have access to a large support community of active supply chain management, an innovative block upgrade program, and training opportunities with other C-130J operators globally. 

Not Entirely New? 

The Philippine Air Force has existing knowledge of the C130 aircraft, which does not make the purchase entirely surprising. 

The Air Force has existing infrastructure and knowledge of the aircraft which makes the transition seamless. 

This variant of the Super Hercules is a proven tactical airlift aircraft, utilized by 26 operators in 22 countries. 

It is highly versatile and a proven aircraft with more than 525 C-130J Super Hercules flying today in 10 mission configurations.

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